As far as I can tell, it’s sort of a rule of womanhood that we come with a lot of shit. I’m talking big ass Mary Poppins purses loaded with makeup bags, Kleenex, gum, nail files, lotions, body spray, deodorant—find me a woman who isn’t a walking emergency kit. I dare you.
That being said, there are a lot of things we have to buy to maintain whatever it is we’re going for: makeup appliques and removers, clothes, shoes, hair products—it’s exhausting, not to mention expensive.
I typically do my best to spend as little money as possible: opting out of Sephora for the slightly cheaper Ulta, buying things on sale, going to Forever 21 for my basic needs. However, I’ve found over the years there are certain items that I consider investment pieces: things that every woman in her 20s should not only own, but be willing to spend a considerable amount of money on. These are the times that will break your bank for the time being but pay off in the long run for all of the good they do your body, mind, and soul.
Here are 8 investment pieces every 20-something woman needs in her life.
Black booties are the shoes that never go out of style in a color that never goes out of style. Black is eternal and little booties go with everything: jeans, slacks, dresses, skirts. Although they’re pretty low-maintenance to wear, they always create a polished look. Invest in a well-made pair (Jimmy Choo, Steve Madden, Dolce Vita) rather than picking up some cheap ones at your local Fashion 123; it’s worth it for the wear you’ll get out of them. I recommend a leather/faux-leather material over suede—suede looks gorgeous but is damaged with one rain drop.
Invest in these booties: Lucky Brand “Eller” Bootie, $79.99 at Nordstrom (they are 40% off right now!)
…or splurge & invest in these (they are SO comfortable): Paul Green Malibu Sliced Zip Bootie, $398 at Nordstrom
2. Bucket bag
Another item that just keeps coming back in style. The bucket bag is simple, cool, and mysterious. What the hell is in that woman’s bucket?! Who knows. I’ve had a little black leather bucket bag from Rebecca Minkoff for about 3 years and it still looks brand new. A little worn, sure, but leather always looks better with age. This Sole Society bag is newer and looks just as good.
Invest in a bucket bag: Sole Society “Nevin” Faux Leather Drawstring Bucket Bag, $64.95 at Nordstrom
Whether they’re flare, boyfriend, mom, or skinny, high-waisted jeans are a sexy and playful look that work 24/7. Much like leather, you want your long-lasting denim to be good quality. I recommend Madewell, Guess, or True Religion.
Invest in these jeans: Madewell High Rise Skinny Jeans, $128 at Nordstrom
Something about a big black coat is just so cool. While it may be less relevant in the warmer states like California or Florida where winter is basically a fable, there are still a good amount of days out of the year you can make use of a nice coat. Go for a cinched waist from DKNY to appear more feminine, don a seamless coat from American Apparel for an androgynous aesthetic, or rock this Laundry by Shelli Segal jacket to make a statement. No matter which one you choose, you’ll turn heads.
What would this list be without the LBD? Although this isn’t something exclusively for women in their 20s—it’s more of a fundamental part of womanhood that’s been around for ages. Nevertheless, you can never go wrong with having that perfect LBD on call at all times. I recommend Ralph Lauren, Guess, or Calvin Klein for your all-American, simply sexy look.
Invest in this LBD: A by Amanda “Desiree” Off The Shoulder Shift Dress, $98 at Nordstrom
Because we can’t forget makeup! Whether you regularly wear the stuff or not, it’s always best to have a little eyeshadow on deck just in case. I recommend the Urban Decay palettes 2 or 3—1 is more for going out clubbing, while 2 and 3 are for everyday wear that never goes out of style.
Invest in Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette: $54 from Sephora
Some may argue the choker necklace is not for anyone over the age of 15, but I strongly disagree. These statement pieces date back to the Victorian era for their romantic, suggestive depiction of the neck. Pick up a deep velvet strand from Nordstrom or Urban Outfitters and instantly perk up your plain white T and jeans.
Invest in this choker: Topshop Velvet Choker, $12 from Nordstrom
The color is different for every skin tone and face shape, but a bold color of lipstick does every woman good. My favorites are from Bobbi Brown, Marc Jacobs, and Dior. Be picky; matte or shine? Gloss or stain? Dark or nude? Whichever your preference, wear it with confidence.
Invest in this lipstick: Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color, $35 from Sephora